Hound of the Baskervilles (Widescreen) [Import]
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Sherlock Holmes gets the Gothic treatment in this mix of mystery and supernatural horror from Britains Hammer Films. Peter Cushing is perfectly cast as the great detective, the very embodiment of science and reason (which also made him a great Van Helsing in the Dracula series) in a case wound around a legacy of aristocratic cruelty and a devilish dog wandering the swampy moors. Christopher Lee is a less satisfying fit as the last of the Baskervilles, as he waffles between fear and apathetic disregard, but Andre Morell is a fine Dr. Watson and a far cry from Nigel Bruces sweet bumbler from the Hollywood incarnation of the 1940s. Director Terence Fisher was Hammers top stylist and the film drips with the mood of the moors, mist hanging in the air, the dying vegetation itself threatening to come to life and trap the next unwary traveler. --Sean Axmaker
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Top Customer Reviews
THIS Hammer film, despite massive wanderings from the original story, just FEELS right. It's spooky. Holmes is eccentric and impatient and perfect. Watson is wonderfully portrayed. The Baker Street rooms are fantastic. And the music--this is the stuff that made me duck my head under the covers when I watched old horror films as a kid.
There are plenty of different versions of "Hound" out there to see. Many have their "moments" of brilliance. But for pure enjoyment, you can do no better than Cushing's version. (I'm still dying to see his 1968 BBC version, almost impossible to get ahold of.) A pleasant, fun, and memorable "Hound of the Baskervilles."
And the few DVD extra features, thanks to Christopher Lee, provide added fun, too.
The strength of the Hammer films has always been the quality of its two principal actors - Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Peter Cushing gives another fine performance as Holmes. Christopher Lee has a change of pace from his usual role of playing a monster to playing the romantic lead. Of course, the filmmakers take some liberties with the story but, on the whole, I was surprised just how closely it follows the book.
One of the most valuable additions to this DVD is a new interview with Christopher Lee. Lee is always fond of reminiscing about the old days. He talks about what it was like filming the Hammer Horrors and he gives a moving tribute to the late Peter Cushing.
Christopher Lee is a bit miscast as Henry Baskerville and the role is significantly underwritten. Lee gives a solid performance but it's evident in watching him that he doesn't quite have a handle on the character. Part of the blame can be layed at the foot of Jimmy Sangster's occasionally incomphrensible screenplay. It's also possible that director Terence Fisher may have had a hand in rewrites as he was known to do so (and the result was usually pretty incoherent).
Fisher's direction is confident and involving although it lacks the zip he exhibited in his finest Hammer films. The color photography is stunning on this MGM/US transfer and the analog artifacts are kept to a minimum. The extras (particular the observations by Lee on his frequent co-star Cushing)are enlightening at times.
Although not the ultimate Hound adaption, Fisher's film is solid entertainment even if it does take signficant liberities with the story.
It is wonderful to see a side of Christopher Lee that is never shown in other films. He proved he can be a fine human character as opposed to the supernatural creatures he is usually associated with.
The only acting choice I have trouble with is the principal female character as played by Marla Landi. She has a heavy accent that is very difficult to understand. For most of her scenes, I had to turn on the subtitles to know what she was saying.
I've never seen a film or TV version completely faithful to the original book, but this version is true to the SPIRIT of the story and is a really engrossing and entertaining film. This should be the true test of the film, does it hold interest, is it well acted and does it entertain. The answers to all of these questions is YES. For anyone wanting an exact reproduction of the original, it would be better to lock yourself in a quiet room and play the story on the screen of your own imagination. Then you will get the Holmes you dream of and the exact details of the book. For anyone else, this as a fine and satisfying experience.
Most recent customer reviews
I am not able to play this DVD at all, it's say that it is not in a good region, do not purchase this DVD.Published 8 months ago by Fabienne Villeneuve
Anything with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee staring in a Hammer Production is worth watching. Good cast and worth having in a DVD library.Published on Nov. 6 2013 by Ed Duplissie
I read this book more than two dozen times. This movie is several million miles apart from original written version. Read morePublished on Dec 30 2005 by Nimish Parikh
Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing - sounds like a recipe for success!
If you are not familiar with the original story, you will have a moderately hard time following... Read more
THIS IS A GREAT MOVIE. PETER CUSHING AND CHRISTOPHER LEE ARE EXCELLENT! THE SOUND AND COLOR CAME OUT VERY GOOD ON DVD AND THE SPECIAL FEATURES ARE WONDERFUL. Read morePublished on Nov. 2 2002
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